Are political threads and arguments on message boards more vitriolic than they used to be?

Colonoscopy

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I ask this because I wonder if the rest of the world found what we message board geeks were already doing and exported it more broadly across our culture. Basically, people were always jackasses over politics on message boards -- but now everyone is like a jackass on a message board.

I'm not certain message board vitriol is any worse than it ever has been when it comes to political debate. Maybe we have more political topics to choose from, maybe it makes up a larger percentage of topics than it used to.
 
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FAUlty Gator

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I ask this because I wonder if the rest of the world found what we message board geeks were already doing and exported it more broadly across our culture. Basically, people were always jackasses over politics on message boards -- but now everyone is like a jackass on a message board.

I'm not certain message board vitriol is any worse than it ever has been when it comes to political debate. Maybe we have more political topics to choose from, maybe it makes up a larger percentage of topics than it used to.
Pretty much the same level of vitriol since 2000. Just different topics.
 

JMNSHO

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I got run off an OT section of a Midwest hunting/fishing board; the last straw was right after Sandy Hook with my suggesting that removable magazine capacity restrictions were a legitimate and potentially life saving option to be considered, and several people agreed with me. It was sort of a soft ban, the mods would reply to my comments, saying I was “anti sportsman”, or a “Fudd”, and then the boldest of the goon mob would come at me with the threats and vitriol. Eventually the mods joined in on the vitriol act. It seemed like something that could spill over to IRL so I wandered away. People have always been assholes as far as I can tell. There are maybe more places now than before where people feel so unabashedly bold. I’d say the real problem of today vs the past is increased self segregation.
 

Aardvark86

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I got run off an OT section of a Midwest hunting/fishing board; the last straw was right after Sandy Hook with my suggesting that removable magazine capacity restrictions were a legitimate and potentially life saving option to be considered, and several people agreed with me. It was sort of a soft ban, the mods would reply to my comments, saying I was “anti sportsman”, or a “Fudd”, and then the boldest of the goon mob would come at me with the threats and vitriol. Eventually the mods joined in on the vitriol act. It seemed like something that could spill over to IRL so I wandered away. People have always been assholes as far as I can tell. There are maybe more places now than before where people feel so unabashedly bold. I’d say the real problem of today vs the past is increased self segregation.
I bet that wouldn’t happen if you were standing in front of them with a gun. 😉;)
 
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Menace Sockeyes

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What truth? The shooter was a self described left authoritarian.
Meaning he sucks at political labels, because he also describes himself as a "fascist", a "White supremacist" and an "anti-Semite" who regurgitated noted liberal Tucker Carlson throughout. You're real bright.
 

abby97

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Meaning he sucks at political labels, because he also describes himself as a "fascist", a "White supremacist" and an "anti-Semite" who regurgitated noted liberal Tucker Carlson throughout. You're real bright.
The shooter was white?:D:D
 

Colonoscopy

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One more observation about message board communities:

At least with message board communities there is a sense of... community. You know about the guys with the political views you don't like and you quarrel with them over said views, however, you also often know things about them that humanize them. You've often known them for years. (yeah, Xposter is a jackass on these topics, but I'd still have a beer with him)

This opposed to the model you get with facebook or twitter where much of the "discourse" is mob attacks on shared content from people with political opinions you never deal with. Those people aren't humanized in these sort of interactions, just upheld as an example of how rotten the opposition is.

Message boards, as quarrelsome as they may be, are a superior form of social media compared to what most people use.
 

mattymoknows

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I got run off an OT section of a Midwest hunting/fishing board; the last straw was right after Sandy Hook with my suggesting that removable magazine capacity restrictions were a legitimate and potentially life saving option to be considered, and several people agreed with me. It was sort of a soft ban, the mods would reply to my comments, saying I was “anti sportsman”, or a “Fudd”, and then the boldest of the goon mob would come at me with the threats and vitriol. Eventually the mods joined in on the vitriol act. It seemed like something that could spill over to IRL so I wandered away. People have always been assholes as far as I can tell. There are maybe more places now than before where people feel so unabashedly bold. I’d say the real problem of today vs the past is increased self segregation.
Along these lines, we know that people love their anonymity online and I used to believe that if you got those people away and talked to them IRL they'd not be such a$$holes. However, if what I've seen over the past few years is any indication of the level of sanity in this country, I wouldn't even want to risk that anymore.

Not sure why there are so many angry people in the U.S. and now they feel the need to outwardly project it to everyone else nowadays. I still believe we have a lot of good people in our country but it just seems like the extremes are getting all the damn attention nowadays so it feels hopeless at times.
 
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Menace Sockeyes

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We were also exposing your complete lack of knowledge on the shooters political proclivities.
You're the one who didn't know his beliefs and ran with one political compass test posted by right wing internet fools like yourself.
 
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Colonoscopy

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Along these lines, we know that people love their anonymity online and I used to believe that if you got those people away and talked to them IRL they'd not be such a$$holes. However, if what I've seen over the past few years is any indication of the level of sanity in this country, I wouldn't even want to risk that anymore.

Not sure why there are so many angry people in the U.S. and now they feel the need to outwardly project it to everyone else nowadays. I still believe we have a lot of good people in our country but it just seems like the extremes are getting all the damn attention nowadays so it feels hopeless at times.
I wonder if it's social-media brawling spilling over into "real life." I've always been able to a jackass on a message-board without doing the same in real life, but I'm an internet pro.

I think the pandemic may have been a potentiator of this.
 

mattymoknows

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I wonder if it's social-media brawling spilling over into "real life." I've always been able to a jackass on a message-board without doing the same in real life, but I'm an internet pro.

I think the pandemic may have been a potentiator of this.
Oh 100% social media has made things worse. What started out as funny gifs, memes, and sharing fun pictures with each other has turned in to angry, vitriolic political nonsense for so many.

Q Anon would have been some crazy underground club without social media. Now we seemingly all know someone who believes that sh!t in our family or friends group who aren't afraid to let us know about it.

"Gee Uncle Ted, I always knew you were a little off but how I love seeing your posts about "the storm coming" on a daily basis now!"

I certainly don't think that the pandemic brought most of us closer together, sadly. If anything it just embellished the worst in many of us.
 
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abby97

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WTF is your point? Try translating it into non-idiot.
You seem to be suggesting that simply being white is a determining factor, so I'm wondering if you are a potential shooter? Maybe you should stay off internet boards if you aren't willing to add anything inciteful or beneficial.
 

mattymoknows

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In 2003 - it got pretty hot in here in arguments about going to war in Iraq. I don't think it has changed that much. I try not to argue in political threads because nothing really changes in the end.
100% this, I'll read them and want to throat punch some of these posters. Full disclosure, I'd never actually do this 😆

However, no minds are being charged and I am okay not injecting myself into the same argument time and time again.

I don't really care about attempting to change the worldview of someone like Hondo or the WarriorPoets of the world when all they seem to want to do is rile people up, which they do well.
 

Menace Sockeyes

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You seem to be suggesting that simply being white is a determining factor
Determining factor? What is wrong with you? I implied that mass shooters are overwhelmingly Conservative, and of those, they overwhelmingly target minorities. Facts don't care about your feelings.
 

Menace Sockeyes

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In 2003 - it got pretty hot in here in arguments about going to war in Iraq. I don't think it has changed that much. I try not to argue in political threads because nothing really changes in the end.
Shocker: The same people who were wrong about Iraq continue to be wrong about nearly every other issue.